Research in the laboratory focuses mainly on studying mechanisms of HIV-1 gene regulation and angiogenesis. Major aims of this research are to determine the mechanisms by which the HIV-encoded Tat protein transactivates HIV and cellular gene transcription and how Tat affects adhesion, migration, invasion, survival, proliferation and morphogenesis of vascular endothelial cells during angiogenesis. The angiogenesis research also includes discerning the molecular signaling pathways and downstream effectors induced by a wide range of angiogeneic factors that are involved in both normal and pathological angiogenesis. Additionally, the laboratory is initiating new studies on placental development, specifically to determine the effects of hypoxia and human cytomegalovirus infection on first trimester extravillous cytotrophoblast function that may cause ?shallow? or insufficient placentation associated with preeclampsia, intrauterine growth retardation and fetal death.